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Without fail, the holidays make me sentimental. I’m already a huge softie—don’t let my NYC exterior fool you—but everything seems to be amplified during the holiday season. I can’t help it! The lights, the music, the promise of spending time with loved ones and family at Christmas time—it all holds a special place in my heart. 

Within the past couple of years, I think the holidays have taken on an even deeper meaning for everyone. I know they definitely have for us. Our list of priorities has totally shifted. We’re just so incredibly lucky for all the opportunities we have, but above all, I’m just so grateful to have my family healthy and safe. Despite all of the challenges and setbacks and global grief, we’re here, together, and that’s probably the best Christmas gift anyone could ever give me.

boy decorating christmas treemom and son by the christmas treeboy holding up a christmas card

Reflecting on 2021

Where to begin?! Such great strides forward and still so many challenges. It’s been such a blessing every year to see my kids grow into their own, but especially so this year. They’ve had to deal with a lot this past almost two years—from virtual learning to drive-by birthdays—and they’ve come out of it so much stronger, confident, and more thoughtful and helpful to others.

It was also such a treat to be able to start up a few traditions that we had to put on pause in 2020. Being able to get back out on the road again and expand our family memory book was a huge gift. Of course, I had one more surprise in tow for everyone—keep reading!   

family in matching pajamasfamily in the snowfamily taking photo together

Being Together

We’ve been spending a lot of time together, for better or for worst. And I’m relieved to say we all survived! This Christmas, my heart is so full knowing that all of my kids, my husband, and my pups will all be here under one roof with me. We have all really learned to appreciate our time together, whether it’s dance parties or pool parties, or just hanging around the house.

Being at home together so much was a good lesson in reminding ourselves that time is so precious and that family is most important. I’m looking forward to a relaxed Christmas with the family, spending it as we wish, and above all, just enjoying every second together.

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woman in front of big wooden bear woman in front of house remodeled home

Here’s to New Adventures

This year also brought a gift that I didn’t expect, but had been working toward for years—I bought my family a cabin!!! I’m getting emotional about this all over again. But it’s been a dream of mine to do this for as long as I can remember. I’ve hinted at it a little bit, but I did not have the easiest upbringing. From a very young age, I knew I wanted more out of life than living in a car or sleeping on a couch. I knew that I wanted to be sure my future kids would never experience those things if I could help it. To end the year, I did something so empowering as a mother, a wife, and a woman. I bought my family a dream cabin in Big Bear. Legit tears. It’s this perfect little A-frame that we’ve already begun renovating (new paint just went up!). 

Christmas is not about gifts. It’s not about how much money you spend or the tangible items you hold in your hand. This cabin is a gift, but it’s so much more than a present wrapped in a bow. This is a gift to my younger self, the inner self that’s been overcoming every obstacle tossed my way since the time I was a child. But it’s also a gift to my children—a safe haven for them to dream big and live boldly. A place for my family to create new memories and build a sweet, tranquil getaway that is uniquely ours. Now that’s holiday magic! I can’t wait to share more of it with you. Until then, Merry Christmas, and lots of love to you and yours. 

Need more fun holiday videos? Subscribe to City Girl Gone Mom on YouTube!

funny johnny carson quote christmas cabinfamily having fun together

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